Written by Kent Wilson
It’s a daunting task to share one’s story to a large amount of people. It’s even more daunting when that story involves an identity crisis or confusion of some sort (dun dun dun!). Well, I’m about to do both. I hope that someone can benefit from my story being shared, as I have benefited from hearing so many stories. Here we go!
Most stories I’ve heard start off with the phrase, “Well, I was raised in a Christian home…” and so on and so forth. Mine is a little different. I was raised in a half Christian home .My mom was raised a Christian, and my Dad was raised to believe in God, but didn’t really practice his faith.
God was a big part of my life growing up, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in a church Christmas or Easter program, choir, usher, or any other church activity that was entrusted to a small child. Now, one would think that because of all this church involvement, that I would have a solid, firm, unshakeable foundation in Christ, right?
Oh, how I wish.
This laundry list of church activities would spawn, at the time, a need to find my identity through being busy and membership. That’s where my story picks up.
I like to call Middle School, “The Dark Ages.” For some of us, Middle school was a time that we flourished and succeeded. But for me, it was like the 400 years in the Bible where God was silent.
People, when I say I don’t want to remember any part of Middle school whatsoever, I mean it. Again, I found myself being wrapped up in being overly busy.
I wanted to belong to every group, to every student circle, but I couldn’t.
My weight, my skin color, my presumed sexuality, all of these were subject to humiliation from my peers. I thought that they called me these things because that’s how they saw me. That I needed to be these things in order to belong to something. So, I let these things define me. I found my identity not only in being busy and involved, but I now took on these various labels in my life.
Fast forwarding to High School, it was an entirely different monster (and it is NOT like Glee. Shocker, I know).
I took the labels and the need to belong with me through high school. I was a Student Ambassador, National Honor Society member, Chamber and Jazz Choir member, Jazz band member, Varsity Football and Track athlete, Heart of the Panther award winner, and Senior Class representative.
I was basically the kid everyone hated. High school was also the time that I quieted the critics on my sexuality. I became highly promiscuous. I drank, I smoked, I partied, and I thought I had everything because it.
Except for my identity.
In all this, I had lost who I truly was. I wasn’t the kid who thought drinking was bad, smoking was disgusting, or that waiting until marriage was the right thing to do.
Coming to Corban changed all that. My senior year of high school was a big year for me. I was torn between here, and the University of Washington, my dream school. I had all these plans to study Voice, become a famous opera and stage star, and live big. But you know what they say, “The best way to make God laugh is tell Him your plans.”
Not to say that God doesn’t want to hear our plans. He wants us to have goals and ambitions. But, the way I was going about it, He needed to intervene.
Corban has done a lot for me in all facets of life. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but being here has definitely gotten me started. I still have a whole lot of life to live, as do we all, and there are bound to be more challenges and identity stirring events to happen. But I know now that all that stuff I did in the past doesn’t define who I am TODAY.
Don’t let your past define you. Use each occurrence as a stepping stone in this journey. God knows who we are, and in each step we make He is revealing more and more to us.